Buerger’s Disease – It’s Not About Boogers!

Have you ever wondered why some people do stupid things? Or why, not only do they do stupid things, but they continue to do stupid things? I know that I do. For example, I drive down the road, and when I see that someone is uncomfortable driving when the sun is coming up, I wonder why they continue driving at an increasingly slow pace instead of using those clever little things called sun visors or sun glasses. I especially wonder this when they are right in front of me on the freeway into work.

Let’s face it, we all do things that other people look at us and wonder- “why?” The stunning thing about this question is, often there is no good answer. We may come up with many excuses, but seldom a good answer. Even more stunning is when it leads to some sick disease that slowly erodes the body, only to be met with pure non-resistance. Like, for example, what my biological mother Cay is dealing with.

Let me answer this question before I move on- yes, I said biological- I referred to her in this way because, I was adopted, and I don’t want those of you who know me to get her confused with my mom who raised me. With that being said, I will carry on.

Cay has Buerger’s Disease. For those of you who are inadequate in your medical knowledge and lingo, this is what it is: “a recurring inflammation and clotting of small and medium arteries and veins of the hands and feet.” Now, on the surface, that doesn’t sound so bad. But then as you dig a bit deeper, and look at some lovely hand models that allowed themselves to get this disease and then be photographed for medical textbooks, we find that it is a little less on the not so bad side and more on the disturbing side… For you see, untreated, Buerger’s Disease leads to one fun major complication- drum roll, please- gangrene in the fingers and toes! Hoo-ray for gangrene! (At this point, for those of you who are really really inadequate to the point of being raised in a swamp somewhere, gangrene is when your flesh starts dying and rotting away).

Now upon hearing this, my initial reaction is probably the same as yours: Time to go to the doctor and get treated! However, it is not quite that simple. Or should I say, it is much more simple than that. You see, this disease has one simple cure. Stop smoking. Stop the use of all tobacco products. Do so immediately. Period. As in, there is NO OTHER CURE. Upon being diagnosed, Cay was faced with one of two choices: continue smoking, and therefore keep the finger-rotting fun and eventually have those five appendages removed by amputation, or stop smoking. I know it sounds weird, because you would think there was some other way, but alas, there is not. A simple cure recognized by doctors world wide.

So Cay stopped smoking and all will be fine. O.K., that was actually a lie. If she had quit, I obviously would not be writing this. So far, at this point anyway, she has not put down the cancer sticks and has chosen to live with the pain. All for the love of a cigarette. Most people throw their life away for the love of a woman, or the love of a man, but the love of a cancer stick? The verdict is in, she will eventually lose her fingers if she does not quit, to which I ask, how then will she smoke?

I think that it is absolutely ridiculous that she is still lighting up. But then, I must look in the mirror and ask myself this: If I were in her position, would I be willing to quit? Yes, she has many excuses, to which I think are all stupid. But would I quit, or even be able to come up with a better excuse? Let’s face it, I am no genius at keeping myself on the straight and narrow of anything. I constantly take two steps forward and then ten steps back. In case you are wondering, those ten steps are running steps.

We constantly go down this path of stupid. I think it may be in our nature to do so- as was once said a long time ago, it is our sin nature. I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror, I see the same symptoms running through me- you could call it a “spiritual” Buerger’s Diesease. I have the answer- the cure is simple. Stop sinning. Stop doing stupid things that get in the way of my relationship with God. In doing so, God will take over and heal me from the gangrene and restore my soul.

Every day we are faced with choices. Will we choose that drag on that charcoal-enhanced sin? You know, the one in your personal life that is turning your spiritual lungs black? The one that keeps us from being able to fully breath deep the breath of God? Here is reality: sin slowly rots away our soul, from the inside out. If left unchecked, God will have no choice but to amputate- a process that will hurt us badly, and will result in us losing things that we do not want to lose. But at the end of the day- it is our own choice. It is time to stop leading a lukewarm life. The root of our sin is selfishness, and no excuse will change what we have done or make it better. The only thing, the only cure to our sin disease that hinders us is to stop sinning, and let the cleansing blood of Christ flow through us and over us in it’s healing power.

Personally, I think I want to avoid the surgeon’s knife- I like my fingers. I suggest you do the same…

What Are the Aspects to Expect in a Wedding Photographer?

Wedding is not just the association of two lives. It is the day when you celebrate that association with all the people you know. The photographs taken at your wedding live beyond you do. Those photographs will be looked by your grandsons and granddaughters one day even when you are not there. But how would you feel when those precious photos get pictured in a pathetic manner? If you want these photos to live beyond you do, you should hire a perfect wedding photographer.

Choosing the correct weeding photographer is one of the most important things you should do before your wedding. This can be quite confusing as there like a thousand companies and freelance photographers who are available for wedding purposes. If you need the best, you should consult those who have already had a wedding and that will give you a clearer idea. If you have a wedding committee or anything of that sort, you should ask them before you make the choice. If you hire Candid Wedding photographers, they will capture the spontaneous scenes in a wedding without trouble. The main advantage in hiring Candid Wedding photographers is the fact that they are quite fast and they take photos without creating a scene unlike some so called professionals.

Some of you might consider taking photos on your own. But if you want me to be fair with you I would ask you to put that idea in the garbage. Wedding is an occasion which is going to last in your minds for a really long time and how stupid are you for trying to save some bucks during that day? Moreover these photographers use higher end cameras and lenses which cost thousands of dollars so the quality which you get from them will be top class.

If you are planning to do your ceremony in a foreign land, you should probably take a destination wedding photographer with you. When you are going to a foreign land, you would obviously end up going to various sightseeing spots and a conventional photographer will find it difficult to capture those places. But a destination wedding photographer can adapt to these situations and he will provide you the best shots for outdoor places as well. Rather than taking a photographer with you, you can hire a photographer at the place you go. For instance if you are planning to do your wedding on Australia, you should hire a photographer who has wider knowledge on Australian Wedding photography.

Redeeming Meetings – Advice For Photographers

Isn’t it amazing how little time is spent actually shooting on any given project?! As a manager, I’d love to put a time counter on my photographers to get an accurate assessment as to exactly how much time they spend preparing for, participating in, and dealing with the extraneous items associated with a shoot. It’s just a reality of the business that, in order for a photographer to get behind the camera, they also have to contribute to the details leading up to and immediately following a shoot. Sure, there are varying degrees of effort, and sometimes there are producers, assistants, or support staff that can take on some of the details, but the photographer is always engaged in the non-shoot elements to some degree. However, a photographer isn’t without the opportunity to exert some control over this preparation process, and that brings us to the subject of the all important meeting or, should I say, meetINGS.

Meetings with clients and stakeholders are necessary in the preparation leading up to, and sometimes following, a shoot; but so often, all that time spent on the phone, in conference calls, and face-to-face sessions is a liability. First off, I have to say that most meetings simply end up producing more work than they’re worth. Secondly, they take up precious time, can drain creativity, and steal passion for the project. However, complaining won’t help you so let me unpack a bit of helpful advice: take control of the meetings you participate in, at least as far as your part is concerned. The biggest concern from a business perspective is that you’re likely only associating billable hours to the shoot itself and, therefore, the prep time – and especially these meetings – is a blow to your earning potential. The way to extract more value for yourself is to set up some parameters and expectations for the meetings you’re involved with.

What’s wrong with meetings you ask? Well, the erroneous justifications can look something like this:

• Someone wants to give or receive an update on tasks. This is why most meetings take place, but it is not a great justification for a meeting because the flow of information is unidirectional. Send an e-mail instead.

• The meeting is called because some slackers in the group and the boss want to get everyone back on track. Don’t be a slacker and don’t subject yourself to working with slackers if you can help it; besides, berating or embarrassing people in front of their peers doesn’t improve motivation, and it wastes everyone else’s time.

• Meetings seem like a good place to clear up a disagreement – but that’s bogus. If there’s a difference of opinion about a project, stakeholders should approach each other individually and find ways to move forward. In a group setting, there’s a bit of a gang mentality and that’s just not cool.

• Meeting to build excitement is stupid. Motivation is a daily management challenge, not a one-time fix. Private conversations are better, but something social is ideal. A pint after work, a spontaneous coffee run, a small gift, or a quick encouraging phone call are all better than a meeting.

So many inefficiencies and liabilities can stem from meetings and vocational photographers would be well served by having as few of them as possible. When that’s not possible, do everything you can to ensure they’re productive, valuable, and engaging. A meeting should have a clear goal and be an open dialog; otherwise, I call a foul and so should you.

Advice for Weekend Warriors: Without clients to worry about your likely to have very few meetings pertaining to your photography; however, when attending meetings at work or in your community use that time to practice your meeting decorum.

Advice for Working Warriors: Here are a few ways you can take charge of your meeting environment:

1. Before agreeing to a project, include a request for a meeting schedule or provide your own schedule – one that fits your calendar. Pre-scheduled meetings are very successful at limiting the emergency or single-issue meetings.

2. Plan something for immediately following the scheduled meeting so that you have a hard stop, and make sure everyone knows this before the meeting starts. This also has a tendency to push the important items up to the beginning of the meeting, leaving the silly details for the end, which you can politely excuse yourself from.

3. Work at being the best meeting attendee or leader. Whether in person or on the phone, rock every meeting with a great attitude and be solutions-oriented. And be early, or at least on time. When you’re late, you’re not entering the meeting from a position of strength.

4. End each meeting with a summary of YOUR action items. Don’t worry about everyone else; just make sure everyone knows that you’ve got things covered.

This is an excerpt from Corwin Hiebert’s ebook “Growing The VisionMonger, 10 Things a Manager Can Teach You About Running & Growing Your Business”.